July 29, 2020

Hamilton School Board members accepted four administrative recommendations concerning the opening of the 2020-21 school year, including requirement of face masks for students and staff who are involved in traditional in-person learning.school board meeting_type

Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said the district was taking guidance on the use of face masks from the Waukesha County Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics which all endorsed the use of masks when social distancing is not possible.

Policies will be written providing exemptions for individuals with medical, developmental, mental health or religious consideration. In addition, students will not be required to wear masks while outside. Students will be instructed on the proper use and care for masks, and breaks will be built in during the day.

In addition to the mask decision, the School Board agreed that the district should:

  • develop metrics and ranges to determine if school should be conducted virtually based on community spread of the virus, active staff and student confirmed cases, student and staff absences due to close contact, rate of infection among students and staff, overall teacher absence rate and ability to replace staff who are absent with a substitute;
  • research potential to use a hybrid option during significant community spread
  • continue researching new cleaning products and procedures.

More details about health and safety measures were provided in a written report to the board.

Earlier in the meeting Buildings & Ground Manager Jeff Grove described the array of equipment, technology, sprays and chemicals custodial staff will use to clean schools. Grove said the schools will have additional cleaning to reduce and eliminate the virus.

Instructional Services Supervisor Cathy Drago, Curriculum Specialist Whitney Roth and Program Support Coordinator Katie Foy gave School Board members details on how instruction will be delivered next fall. They focused on emergency remote learning for students who might be out of school for up to 21 days due to COVID exposure, extended school closures and the 100% virtual option.

July 20, 2020

Board accepts task force report

Hamilton School Board members approved a plan to reopen schools for the 2020-21 school year that includes in-person and virtual options for students. In June and July, the 70-member Reopening Schools Task Force studied issues of providing instruction and services to students and keeping students, staff and families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.school board meeting_type

The five subcommittees of the task force also reviewed results of parent and staff surveys to come up with a plan to meet the needs of students, staff and families.

Options for learning

Among the task force’s recommendations and conclusions, three modes of learning were identified as options for students:

  • 100% in-person learning in school;
  • 100% virtual learning at home; and
  • Emergency remote learning for students who are out for several days because of COVID-19 exposure.

Common technology platforms ID’d

The task force also identified common technology platforms to communicate learning and progress to families. Students in grades 4K-6 will use Seesaw with those in grades 3-6 also having access to Google Classroom. Middle and high school students would consistently use Google Sites and Google Classroom.

Additional professional development days offered

Of significance was the School Board’s approval of four additional professional development days in August that will focus on: health, safety and wellness of students and staff; high quality teaching and learning in an online and in-person environment; and the opportunity for staff to collaborate. Staff who attend training Aug. 5 and 6 or Aug. 18 and 19 will get two additional collaborative planning days before Aug. 24.

Templeton moves to block schedule

Templeton Middle School will move to a block schedule this fall that is expected to help students better focus on their classes and cut down on the amount of travel and exposure to others during the day. During the spring when students learned from home, school staff heard from parents and students that managing seven to eight classes per day was difficult. The new schedule keeps the number of classes taken in a semester the same, but using an A/B day schedule, they will have only five classes each day.

More details from 5 subcommittees

In addition, the task force identified plans to: provide social and emotional support for students, staff and families; ensure technology access, support and guidance to all stakeholders; maximize safety through policies and protocols affecting lunch, facilities, transportation, athletics and visitors. Learn more details about each of the five subcommittee’s recommendations.

Financial impact could hit $1.3 million

The impact on the district’s budget could reach $1.3 million for resources, professional development, technology licenses, equipment, additional staff, protective personal equipment and cleaning supplies. The School Board approved having the money come from the district’s fund balance.

No decision on face masks until after county guidance

A decision that the School Board did not make was whether students and staff will be required to wear masks. That will not be addressed until Waukesha County Health Department issues guidance on that issue.

Templeton students conduct successful book drive

Templeton Middle School students celebrated Read Across America Week by teaming up with Milwaukee Sting Volleyball Club to collect 389 new and gently-used books for children in Milwaukee. RAA

The book drive benefited Next Door Milwaukee, an award-winning early education provider that focuses on improving literacy and school readiness for Milwaukee children ages birth to five years. The group is dedicated to closing the achievement gap through literacy programs.

Templeton Middle School is located at N59 W22490 Silver Spring Drive in Sussex and Milwaukee Sting Volleyball Club is a non-profit youth organization located in Menomonee Falls.